State of GA About to Execute Probably Innocent Man!
The above Youtube video was a joint project of the U.S. section of Amnesty International and the Indie Rock group, State Radio. It details the story of Troy Davis. Davis was convicted of murdering a police officer 18 years ago, but, in the meantime, the case against him has fallen apart. Seven 7) of the nine state witnesses against Davis have recanted their testimony and implicated one of the remaining two witnesses as the actual murderer.
On 16 April 2009, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals rejected Davis’ appeal for a new trial. His appeal was based on a simple fact: No court has yet to hold ANY evidentiary hearing on the the new evidence of tainted testimony. In U.S. law after an initial trial has found someone guilty, the burden of proof shifts. One is now legally guilty. Most appeals can only be made on the basis of technical improprieties in the original case (and then conservatives yell about people “getting off on a technicality”). The majority of the justices who rejected Davis’ appeal expressed regret that they felt constrained by procedural rules! (A major reason for abolishing the death penalty.)
The GA Clemency Board can still intervene as can Gov. Sonny Perdue (R-GA). Contact Gov. Perdue and urge clemency for Troy Davis. Urge Gov. Perdue not to risk executing an innocent man.
In other death penalty news, Gov. Bill Richardson (D-NM) of New Mexico, a devout Catholic, met with the Pope on 16 April. The Vatican and the Italian people are some of the strongest opponents of the death penalty (although this is a change in Catholic thought since the Second Vatican Council; prior to this the Church had been a strong proponent of the death penalty since at least the 4th C.). Gov. Richardson, who recently signed legislation abolishing capital punishment in New Mexico (the 2nd U.S. state to abolish the death penalty in the past 2 years–with several more having pending legislation), was honored by the lighting of the Roman Coliseum. This Protestant hasn’t been as fond of this particular pope, but I am glad that the Catholic Church continues to push for global abolition of the death penalty. I hope this trend continues.
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